Nicholas Copernicus (1473—1543)
Buried again, honored again
The following article was published one of the journals of the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) in 2010. Copernicus is now most famous for developing the Heliocentric model of the Solar System. The ancients had viewed the Solar System as being Earth-centric, with the heavenly bodies defining spheres about the Earth, Saturn being the most-outer and limiting planet prior to the sphere of the stars. This view of Copernicus’ was contrary to what the Church of Rome had been promulgating for so many centuries. Copernicus himself had been well regarded in the Church, having studied law, medicine and other subjects as well as having held posts within the Church hierarchy. The publishing of his findings at the end of his life angered the Church greatly, both because his findings contradicted doctrine as well as contributing to the developing schism between the Church and Martin Luther’s rebellion against the Church.
In the following text, any italicized text will represent comments that I, the author, have added to this reprinting to offer clarifications.
Dave Monroe, May 31, 2010
Astrologers and astronomers remember Copernicus for introducing the heliocentric view of the Solar System. He died at age 70 amidst the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation after a life of academic study and achievement in mathematics, astronomy, theology, law and medicine. It is said that he received a printed copy of his book on the very day he died. His book introduced a heliocentric solar system and changed man’s view of his world and the universe forever. This new concept of the Solar System did not endear him to the Catholic Church. Following his death on 24 May, 1543 his body “disappeared” in the sense that its location was unclear. Only in recent years, using modern scanning technology, were remains discovered beneath the floor of the Fromborg Cathedral. This short text will note his birth, death, confirmation of his discovered remains, and his honored re-burial using the MC-Solar Cycle and daily charts for those events.
Chart One: Natal chart for Nicolas Copernicus. Born on 19 Feb., 1473 in Torun, Poland, 018e35 53n02 with a birth time of 15h48m40s UT. Most significant are:
- Sun at Descendant; He was a “people” person, always involved with serving others. A focus on relationships and outreach, living through others.
- Sun in closing square to Moon; Public achievement and set goals would be his hallmark in life. Social connections (Jupiter conj. Moon) would favor him.
- North Node at IC; Associations with others would help him start new ventures and shape his values. The Mars-square-Neptune/Node would describe the negative side of his associations—difficulties in his work with others, working with sick people.
The Saturn-Pluto square would lend him persistence for the hard work that marked his studies and achievements.
Chart Two: Copernicus’ death of Apoplexy (stroke) on the day he received a printed copy of his book on the heliocentric Solar System. May 22, 1543, at the age of 70, Copernicus received a printed copy of his book that marked the public introduction of the true nature of our solar system and the Earth’s place within it. On that same day he died from a stroke. This chart reflects both of those happenings.
- Transiting Sun at CD point; Sudden help, release from pressures, influential forces shape events.
- Natal Mars at the IC; Danger of an accident, dealing with forced changes brings worry and stress.
- Asc. = Uranus/Neptune (natal); Sadness, depression, apoplexy of the brain, heart failure (Ebertin’s CoSI).
- And, most importantly, a “double planet” situation with transiting Uranus conjunct the MC and natal Uranus near the Ascendant; Uranus is associated with bodily rhythms as well as surprises and unexpected events intruding upon our life. With a “double planet” in a PDA (Progressed Daily Angles) chart we can utilize the following interpretive procedure:
- First, consider the natal house placement (how we tend to express the planet).
- Second, consider the PDA placement of the natal planet (how we might tend to react at this point in time).
- Third, consider the transiting placement (how circumstances are impacting us).
We might then say, using this “double planet” guideline, that Copernicus was an innovative thinker and discoverer who was presently (at this time/date) anticipating an exciting development (the public introduction of his book and research) which would propel him and his career into the public arena. Double planets are the key to the chart’s meaning when they occur.
We will now skip over a few centuries of time. During this period, Lutheran teachings spread across Germany and much of northern Europe as part of the Protestant Reformation. This started in 1571 and lasted over a century. The Catholic church waged a war for allegiance against new forms of social thought and unrest. At some point, Copernicus’ body disappeared or became “unmarked”. In the modern era, partial remains were found with characteristics that seemed to match Copernicus’ physical appearance and the records about him that have come down to us.
Chart Three is the PDA for Nov. 3, 2008 when DNA tests on the partial remains of the discovered body and hairs taken from one of Copernicus’ books were examined and found to have matching DNA. The 2008 precession corrected Solar Return had a correction factor of 7 degrees, 28 minutes. There are several interesting components in this chart:
- There is a wide Angular Realignment of natal to PDA charts, signifying a major change in one’s status. Normally we expect a closer alignment than this, but we do need to realize that the testing covered a short period of time and the announcement might have easily been made some ten or twelve days after the initial in-laboratory findings.
- Natal Pluto conjunct the Ascendant; Appropriate but totally out of the context offered in any book interpretation. Pluto’s links to the underground, burial, keeping those in death, resurrection, transformation concepts. All of these words make a crazy and appropriate connection to the re-discovery of bodily remains and identification of a man long missing.
- A “double” planet occurrence with Natal Saturn conjunct the MC; one’s legacy or body of work becomes public, visible, and transiting Saturn at the Ascendant suggesting structure and methodology is in the picture regarding the physical body.
- Transiting Uranus at the Descendant; Surprises due to the actions of others.
- Natal Sun at the CD point; we can equate this to the natal chart’s Sun position which suggested that he was involved with others and subject to their intrusions into his business.
- Transiting Venus at the IC; This would normally relate to one’s happiness level, a balancing of resources being achieved, gains of money or desired objects. With natal Venus being in the 8th house, we can bring in all sorts of 8th house meanings. Natal or transiting Venus found at the IC of PDA charts has been noted many times before as a “death” signature. It seems appropriate to confine our thoughts to favors being conducted by others on our behalf when engaging in normal interpretive practices.
This DNA confirmation chart is not typical of an astrologer’s experience.
Our final chart is for an event that occurred recently, May 22, 2010 to be precise. After centuries of time, and from a modern perspective of reality, Copernicus’ church both honored him and reburied him on church property. A marble plaque with a gold Sun and planets marks his final resting place and his now recognized place in history as accorded by the Catholic Church.
Chart Four is for May 22, 2010, the date Copernicus was honored and re-buried. The 2010 precession-corrected Solar Return had a correction factor of 7 degrees 30 minutes.
- Transiting Sun at the MC; One’s reputation is bright and shiny. This is another “double” planet situation with natal Sun at the Descendant. Since the natal Sun was at the Descendant and there exists an angular realignment, there is no need to construct a statement reflecting the significance of the Sun in this chart.
- Here we see that a close Angular Alignment has occurred. The MC-Solar Cycle has reached a point symbolizing a total change in one’s (life) status.
- Transiting Neptune at the CD point; An “ideal” situation occurs.
- Natal Jupiter–Moon at the IC; The commencement of a new socially acceptable situation and public event occurs.
The MC-Solar Cycle was evident at Copernicus’ formal honoring and final burial, a fitting symbolism for this man who gave so much to both his contemporary world and to the centuries that followed. Precession correction in excess of 7 degrees over this period of time demonstrates the effectiveness of the MC-Solar Cycle which frames the Solar Return charts and the daily charts reflecting our life progress and experience.
Other events in his life were marked by the realignment of the natal angles in the PDA chart.
- On Oct. 20, 1497 Copernicus obtained a position of Canon for Warmina, a local center of importance. The realignment was wide, the MC being 14 Taurus, the natal MC being at 28 Taurus.
- On Jan. 10, 1502 Copernicus obtained the position of Sincure at Collegiate Church of Holy Cross. The natal Ascendant was within 2 degrees of the PDA MC angle, the natal MC was within 8 degrees of the Descendant.
Additional dates, events and information:
- 1543; Europe was in turmoil as the Protestant Reformation went forward.
- The German printer Johannes Petreius delivered the first pages of Copernicus’ book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, via fellow clerics on the last day of his life.
- 1517; Martin Luther, a professor at WittenburgUniversity, posted his 95 debating points on the castle church door, initiating the Reformation movement. By 1527 the Lutheran movement became the order of the day in Germany.
The format for this article has been modified from the published appearance to fit with the format of the WordPress site. The content remains the same. The article’s hand drawn charts have been replaced with RIYAL software-generated charts. D.M.